start up


In response to the air pollution crisis in the National Capital Region, Hindu College has launched a high-efficiency technological solution to alleviate its impact.

The startup cell of Delhi University’s Hindu College has unveiled a hybrid air disinfection machine to combat the worsening air quality in Delhi. According to an official statement issued on Monday, November 6, this machine targets both air pollution and air pollutants, including other infectious agents. During testing at the Shriram Institute for Industrial Research in Delhi, the air purifying machine, created by physicist Lalit Kumar in partnership with a team of students, showed an impressive 99% effectiveness in killing indoor air viruses, bacteria, and fungi.

The machine has been created as a one-stop solution for air pollution and airborne pathogens. This indigenously developed machine is a true innovation under the self-reliant India campaign.

– Commented Anju Srivastava, Principal of Hindu College.

Ionuva Innovations LLP, a Hindu College startup, was reportedly selected as one of the Super-25 startups at a recent conclave organised by Udhmoya Doundation, the University of Delhi’s startup ecosystem, in collaboration with Samarth Bharat and the Career Development Centre (CDC), where they showcased their solution to the significant issue.

This indigenously developed machine is a true innovation under the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan’ or the ‘Self-reliant India’ campaign, which is the vision of the new India envisioned by the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.

– Read a press released by the University.

In March 2022, Hindu College established its first start-up with the invention of a machine resembling a microwave and equipped with Ultraviolet-C (UVC) tubes capable of disinfecting a variety of objects.

This machine is capable of inactivating 99.9 percent of bacteria, viruses, yeast and mould within a minute of exposure. It works by destroying the RNA and DNA strands of virus and bacteria.

– claimed Dr. Kumar.

Under the Business Blasters’ initiative of the Delhi Government, two students from Delhi Government schools undertook the task of painting the disinfecting machine, available in the market for Rs. 13,000.

Read also: Natural Ways to Fight the Smog

Featured Image Credits: DU Beat Photo Archive

Manvi Goel
[email protected]

For a while now, Delhi University’s alumni have come up with plenty of successful ventures. So, is it because the varsity fosters entrepreneurship or the college students establish themselves completely on their own?

With the prevailing popularity of shows like TVF Pitchers and MTV Dropout Pvt. Ltd., we can tell that for a while now millennials have been obsessing over entrepreneurship. The whole concept of startups is based on idea of building an empire from the scratch, and if you are a part of University of Delhi (DU) then chances are you know at least one person (the ones hurdling over their laptops, always talking about their business idea, but guarding important details and forever hunting for funds) who aspires to kick start a start-up.

In 2014, a joint initiative of University Of Delhi and Ministry Of Medium, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) started Technology Business Incubator (DUCIC-TBI) at Cluster Innovation (CIC) Centre. The main objective of this initiative was to encourage students to try out their innovative ideas (processes and/or products) at the laboratory or workshop stage and beyond, to carry forward the idea from its mere conception to know-how and then to-do-how stage.

Talking to DU Beat about the work done by the incubation center since its inception, Professor Bibudananda Biswal, Manager of Technology Business Incubator (DUCIC-TBI) said, “We started off with incubating seven start-up projects that were funded by Ministry of MSME. Subsequently, we added two more startups. Out of these nine projects, four are today companies with positive cash flow. One received an accelerator funding and currently operates from Bangalore. One is in an advanced round of investment negotiations. The other two fund themselves on bootstrapping model. Each of these companies has both rapid and high growth potential.”

He also added that the projects which added after the initial five ones were only provided co-working space with computational facilities. We have not followed up with incubating more projects because of infrastructure and funding issues.

Manish Narayan, a Delhi University graduate and one of the founders of successful venture Sign My Tour app launched by Audible India (now Inclusio) that aids deaf and mute people to access historical monuments of Delhi, credits Technology Business Incubator(DUCIC-TBI) in providing them with financial assistance, infrastructural facilities, and mentoring sessions. “There are many start-ups who have reached heights with the help of universities. The universities need a proper channel to identify this kind of talent and should conduct a comprehensive evaluation to find which start-ups they should fund,” Manish said.

Kirti Krishan, Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Pollination Project Grant winning start-up Lithics, (an online portal for handmade and indigenous products) believes that Delhi Universtiy’s Incubation centers at Par with any other Incubation center in the country. “The amazing guidance and help at Delhi University in realizing our dream by providing amazing infrastructure or finding us right mentors has been immense and has helped us in getting pass huge hindrances in operations,” he further gushed in praise.

Hello Meal, a Vijay Nagar based food delivery service founded and run by alumni of Swami Shraddhanand College have carved a niche for themselves owing to their pocket-friendly rates and impeccable service. The venture received a recommendation letter from Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurial Leadership (CIEL) of Atma Ram Sanatan Dharma College (ARSD). Tarun Kanti Das, a founding member told DU Beat, “We often visit ARSD College to talk to Dr. Rajeev Singh regarding our business. I’m also trying to get some assistance from DU in terms of promotion and financial aid.”

If we look around that are plenty of success stories coming out of varsity incubation centers. However, many people still believe that universities should not invest money, either through financial aid or infrastructure support, in amateur, college-level start-ups because a majority of businesses that come out of these incubation centers eventually fail.

Professor Bibudananda Biswal, Manager of DUCIC-TBI, refutes such notions and asserts, “The claim that “businesses that come of out these incubation centers eventually fail” is nonsense. Start-ups fail everywhere, even after a series of funding. The money spent on a college level incubation is insignificant. This is only to nurture an innovative idea. The real business and profit happen long after the incubation process. This, most often, depends on the entrepreneurial skills of the promoters of the start-up.”

Lloyd E. Shefsky famously said, “Entrepreneurs are made, not born”. Perhaps, this holds true for Delhi University too, the culture of startup harvested by setting up of incubation centers does produce an array of accomplished and aspiring ventures. However, with policies of fund cut in education, it is under threat.


Feature Image Credits: Business World

Niharika Dabral

[email protected]


From the comfortable interiors of Jodhpur, Neerav Jain landed in the dynamic educational hub of the University of Delhi; where academics are kept at par with the extra-curricular caliber. The young entrepreneur takes us through his entrepreneurial adventure, CityFurnish, and the multi-faceted learning-opportunity the journey proffered after he graduated from Kirori Mal College back in 2013.

Starting a business is a mammoth task. Could you please delineate on the initial hurdles your start-up faced?

There were three major hurdles we faced initially. One thing was the age factor; I was starting very young and had just completed my undergraduate education. I had two years of work experience with my family and naturally it takes a little bit of time to understand things. Typically, if you see the breed of start-up coming in, they are filled by IITs and IIMs. When you are just coming up with a bachelor’s degree and scaling up, it’s challenging. It’s not just about funding, but about hiring too. When you are hiring someone who is smarter and more educated than you, you need to convince them to work for you. Secondly, having vision clarity. Furniture is nonstandard item. You can have categories in luxury, but in furniture this is a very difficult thing. We were clear that what we want to achieve as a company. We want CityFurnish to be known for furniture the way Uber is known for cab services in spite of the fact that they have started other services too.  Establishing oneself in a particular category is a challenge. In short, don’t go for small money; create your own domain no matter how tough it is.

The third difficulty faced was creating a brand with limited resources like budget. Creating a brand needs investment. I learnt about this while I was in college. I was the Placement Cell and Commerce Society head. In a society, you need to pull up an event with very few funds. I learnt how to create a network effect and create a buzz. We started targeting customers near Chanakyapuri who weren’t much price conscious. They were very generous with reviews and sharing contacts. They acted as leverage for giving us publicity. It is a mammoth task creating a brand with limited resources. We wanted people to talk about our company.

Is there any entrepreneurial story that has personally inspired you?

One of my early investor was Mr. Jitendra Gupta, founder of Citrus, the payment gateway. His story is very similar to mine. Essentially, I am from a non-tech background. Whereas, he is a finance guy, running one of the largest payment gateway companies in India. His was the only start-up which was able to give a successful exit last year. Naturally, I was very motivated and connected with him due to several reasons. He has started with lot of challenges as in hailing from a non-tech background and hiring a tech team. Building the founding team will decide the next 50 teams in the company. He inspired me to be meticulous about choosing founding members. I learnt how to drive my co-workers with motivation as we weren’t paying much being a budding company. I learnt the concept of frugality from him and how it was important to chase investors with business matrix rather than the vanity matrix.

You were the Placement Cell Head and Com Soc President. How effective do you think DU’s placement and incubation cells are in grooming one’s personality?

For me, definitely very helpful. Coming from Jodhpur, till 12th Pre-boards, my highest percentage was 69, so naturally, I was never a topper. DU itself came in as a little bit of surprise. The first thing I got to know was that a lot Delhites, typically, were doing multiple things at once; debate society, drama society, internships, article ship, and then they were good in studies also. That was something I was never doing in Jodhpur. When I came to DU, the only two things I could apply for were the Placement Cell and Commerce Society, where the requirements were management skills and aptitude. For me, the whole process was extremely intriguing. the complete grooming, the street smartness, the management of the teams; because the fundamental idea was that you’re not paying anything to the team. But still they are motivated to work, to stay till 3 in the night and then turning up next morning to again do all the work. From brining something, getting something from the canteen to managing work; and you’re not paying them anything and yet they are so motivated. Even when you’re starting your own company, though you’re not paying anything, you can still motivate your team if you have the vision theme clear. That’s an important learning I got; salary is not everything if you’re building up your company from scratch. My experience with Placement Cell and Com Soc, that frugality that spend very less, a lot of these things were imbibed from this.

It’s going to be the 2-year anniversary of CityFurnish. Looking back, what do you think could have been done differently or could have yielded better results?

That’s a very retrospective question! As an entrepreneur, there was a scope for improving each and everything. But for something which always bothers me, firstly is the hiring aspect of it. When I started up, I hired just for the role: I need a finance guy, a marketing guy, I hired just for the sake of hiring to conform to the role. That was a major point. Secondly, you need to stick to your gut feeling. Because you’ve thought this is the team structure, this is the vision, this is how we’re going to be different from the competitors, and this is how we’re going to be in the long run. We would always prefer to compete on service level, rather than the pricing level. If you’re fighting on the pricing, it’s always a downward spiral.

When did you make your first breakthrough? What was your first milestone?

The inception of CityFurnish has not been done in India. I was in Netherlands at the time and was handling an export order. During that time I got in touch with Mark, founder of the company called Just Eat which is equivalent Zomato in India but on a global scale. He was running a program called startup boot camp.  He asked me to be a part of it as I had nothing much to do after my work. We got incubated in the start-up boot camp and out of a 100 teams, our start-up was among the top 10. That was a huge validation. Then, I came back to India because Delhi-NCR, as it is itself a bigger market than Netherlands. On 20th September 2015, I got my first order, before we were officially incorporated. Receiving an order before officially launching a business is definitely something which pushes your morale.

You worked for your family business, Chandra Shekhar Exports. How did you decide to start your own venture and how supportive was your family about it?

My dad has been running his company for over 25 years now and naturally, he has his own set of rules and protocols to follow. I came from DU at that time, fresh of energy and innovation. I wanted to change everything about the business. At that time, I didn’t realize there is a thinking process working behind every protocol. My father was 58 at that time and I was 22 giving him suggestions like, “Aise nahin, aise karo.”  And he would dismiss my suggestions which did hurt my ego, but it’s an important learning process. It was difficult for me at that point to understand that behind every set process there is an experience behind it.

How has your personal life changed ever since you grew out the reigns of your business?

I don’t think that I have achieved success yet, but yes, personal life has changed a lot. In DU, you have an amazing lifestyle. But once you start getting busy, you have to start saying no to plans made by friends. A lot of relationship equations change. Social life gets restricted; and some people understand these changes and some don’t. You have to forego a lot of short term pleasures which is actually quite challenging at this age.

Being DU students we realize that our lives are full of experiences. We want you to go back in the memory lane and feel nostalgic. Can you share some of your experiences with us?

When I came to Delhi, I really didn’t like it.  Every two weeks, I used to go back to Jodhpur because of homesickness. I had made up my mind to discontinue studying in DU after a year; it was tough. But over time, it turned out to be different. It pushed me out of my comfort zone. Getting into DU was a slap in that mode. There was a cultural diversity, a vast set of people who won’t agree to your opinion just for the sake of it. The second thing that DU offered me was the human connect. I am still in touch with my placement cell juniors. I still know all the office bearers of my society. They still rope me in events they conduct, and thus, thereis a lot of connect still now.

I was involved in lot of extra-curricular activities and politics.  It gave me an experience for life time.  KMC and Ramjas are very famous for politics. Out batch was the first to churn out a President from B.Com after 35 years. That was the difference; politics has a notion of aggression around it. The violence is real. For DU, for first years, the gruesome violence is shit scary. Within college premises, hostel brawls, it is a whole issue altogether. At the exterior, it is a simple college election. Internally, a lot of things matter. Parties will come to societies and offer different services to garner votes. You obviously don’t want to get into their books but indulging in these unethical tactics is also not favourable. This is something which happens in the business world. The process of acquiring licenses and other procedures you will encounter people from influential backgrounds. If you’ve already experienced this in colleges, which DU offers, it gives you a wonderful understanding of self-confidence of your ability to handle it.

Had there been no DU, would there have been a CityFurnish?

Tough to say! I’ll quote an example from Amazon. When Amazon was started, it was an accumulation of events. The guys had to face challenges with regards to the products, social media changes. Similarly, DU has been an important part. So, I would say partly yes. Had I gone to Bombay, I would have landed in Chandra Shekhar Exports and would not have had the confidence to venture into new things with such aplomb. I would have been settled and devoid of the pressure. Everything under DU had a different role; commerce society, college politics, and so much more. A lot of insights and my actual experiences stem from my days at DU. How to run my team, how to build their morale, how to motivate them without giving them an adequate salary; it’s all there.

It’s a competitive world. How do you make sure that you stay at par with your competitors, especially with the advent of social media amongst other changing trends?

From the competitor’s perspective, we realized our strengths and weaknesses from an early stage which is very essential. Instead of having just one barrier to entry, our approach was to have multiple barriers. We divided it across spectrum. The prima facie was to build the brand. Out of our team of people dealing with customers, you will see our average response time and delivery time is 48-72 hours, versus our competitors which is 7-10 days. Wherever we could get the customer delight factor, we tried to focus on that; from the project and team level. Secondly, we realized from the technological point. My other two partners, Saurabh and Vineet, have an expansive work experience of 6-7 years, with education from IIM and DTU respectively. Earning highly, coming into a startup with no salaries for at least a year was a challenge itself. We have divided our roles, which has helped us build our own defenses. Saurabh is extremely proficient in the digital marketing field. At the end of the day, the customer knows us from the digital spectrum. Saurabh used the strategy of ensuring that CityFurnish was always amongst the top three searches. What Vineet brings on board is the financial and convenience aspect. He collaborated with important companies and adapted a payment model which suited our functioning method and was to our preference. Internally, the payment collection was happening on time and the team resources were handled. So, the customer delight, the online aspect of it, and customer convenience through the service and delivery is how we coped with the changes.

Any suggestion for the young minds ripe with the thoughts of venturing out into a business of their own?

In DU, there are lot of investors and mentors. People these days don’t share their ideas fearing plagiarism. I would say that in start-ups, idea is 2% and the rest is execution. I will suggest that talk to people, no matter how rubbish your idea sounds.  The second thing is, don’t over think your idea. Every idea has more cons than pros. How you deal with the cons and establishing a business is what that makes you stand out. There were a lot of cons while I was analysing the business plan of CityFurnish. However, we were able to deal with things tactfully. We made sure that our business is customer driven and not competitor or investor driven. Another important thing is identifying the trend. Make sure that your idea suits the trend!

What are some of your immediate goals in the pipeline?

We’ve tried to follow along the lines of Amazon’s business strategy: always think from the perspective of customers, which would allow your misses to turn into hits inevitably. Our idea is to launch wall beds; so the idea is to uplift the level of competition. It is an innovation at the product level. If in one item we are able to provide a multitude of utilities, it obviously helps us. The second target is to try to integrate the internet of things in the furniture sector. We are integrating the Bluetooth speaker, phone charger set-up into the sofa set itself. It’s not something revolutionary, however, the utilitarian aspect enhances the customer delight. These small things are now being targeted at a proto-type level. Beyond that, we are focusing on brand building. To establish CityFurnish for what it should be known for; something which will set the narrative for the company for the future years to come. There are a lot of things down the line, long-term visions which we want the company to achieve.


CityFurnish is India’s third largest and a rapidly growing furniture, furnishings and appliances rental brand. Set upon the task to provide smarter lifestyle solutions, CityFurnish is revolutionizing the on-demand rental economy by making renting affordable and easy.

Neerav Jain is the founder and CEO at CityFurnish- India’s fastest growing furniture, furnishings and appliances rental brand. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce from Delhi University, and Business & Enterprise Management from Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, Neerav landed his first job as an Export Manager with Pepperfry. He later went on to attend the Lean Launchpad and Business Innovation course at Utrecht University.


Feature Image Credits: Facebook


Saumya Kalia

[email protected]

Sandeep Samal

[email protected]

Hello Meal started off as a humble initiative by a few students of Delhi University who had the aim of delivering quality food at reasonable prices. Nor have they only fulfilled their goal, but they have gone above and beyond to excel in their field.

Hello Meal is the perfect solution to anyone who wants instant scrumptious food at a moment’s notice. To add to this, the prices are student-friendly and the quantities are extraordinary. Hello Meal has lived up to the standards it set for itself and has gone on to build a reputation so impressive that the founders have now been invited to an international conference that recognises out-of-the-box start-ups.

Rise 2017 is a 3-day event hosted in Hong Kong in July of this year.  A multi-faceted conference, it has different sections for speakers, attendees, etc. Among these, a special category for start-ups, called Alpha, is set up for innovative projects in their nascent stages. Hello Meal is a participant of the same, which only goes to show how far this start-up has come.

With a wide range of choices from North Indian to Chinese and vegetables to mutton, Hello Meal has provided an indispensable avenue to those who wish to indulge in take-out without feeling guilty about the expense. The Zomato reviews are a testament to the brilliance of Hello Meal. Joyee Bhattacharya and Sukhman Gambhir sum it up perfectly when they exclaim “great outlet and great food” and mention how it is “extremely affordable for a college student”.

Based in Vijay Nagar, Hello Meal provides home delivery in record time from 11am to midnight. They offer toll-free telephonic services at 1800-200-5565 and are available on Facebook and Instagram. Download the free app here for a truly satisfying experience.


Image Credits: Hello Meal Facebook

Vineeta Rana
[email protected]

Start up- the word sounds so awe-inspiring and cool. Starting up just when one gets out of college is increasingly getting popular as a prospect career. Acquiring college the practicality of business world drives people to attain pinnacle of success early in life.

To support this growing culture, we have the inspiring stories of Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg that have elevated the charm for entrepreneurship. We all are very well familiar with their success stories and these stories has somehow or the other given wings to our entrepreneurial dreams.

No doubt starting up is both speculative and risky but the zeal, the maverick exuberance to reach the corporate zenith makes us strive and overcome all odds.

However, a number of misconceptions float around the idea of starting up your own company that misconstrue the meaning of starting up.Some misbeliefs pertaining to start-ups are as follows:

1)     I am the BOSS

Some of you might believe that to start your own company you are the boss not accountable to anyone. The truth is you will have to answer not only to yourself but to your parents, investors, and partners. You might not have a boss, but you have to childmind everything and everyone.Always remember you might have started the company but you need a co-operated workforce and a cordial environment to work and get good results.You can’t manage things on your own.

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2)     You can’t share your ideas with others

It is a common belief that one should not share their ideas with others till you are launched as they might be stolen or competition may crush you. On the contrary it is good to talk about your ideas to certain trusted people as many a times people are under the impression that theirs will be the only company in the market to provide the particular service, whereas in most of the cases there are already some companies or start ups following the same project. Thus sharing information helps in knowing more about market conditions.


3)     You just need to build a great product

It is misconstrued generally by engineering pupils that you just got to prepare a good product and everything will fall into its place. Other things will simultaneously build up to run an entrepreneurial venture. If you don’t have the idea about the target market, the funds, and workforce then how can you imagine going forth? In such a competitive sphere marketing strategies become absolutely essential.

4)     All work no play

The most widely found misapprehension about start ups is that it requires a person to sacrifice himself totally to his business. While utmost dedication to your job is necessary, this work is like any other work and has it’s fair share of fun

5)     Prosper your venture and then sell off

Many people believe that once the company gains success you should sell it off at a good price and live rest of the life in peace. Companies are not sold, they are bought. If you’re auctioning off your company at any given chance, you might repent later in life.

6)      There is a right time to start business

Often people refrain from starting a business believing that it is not the right time to start. There is no right time to start a business, trade cycles go on and on. The best time to start is when you are passionate about pursuing what you aspire to achieve. As it has been correctly said by Seth Godin, founder Squidoo “waiting for perfect is never as smart as making progress”

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Don’t get caught in these and countless other delusions that entrepreneurs face. They will  ultimately hold you back. Having an open mind can be a great source of power.

Image credits- www.technologywoman.com, tumblr.com